15 Irresistible Free Things to do in Seville, Spain
In a city packed with palaces, cathedrals, and museums, finding free things to do in Seville might sound challenging. Fear not, dear reader. While there’s no doubt that some of Seville’s most popular attractions involve entrance fees, there are plenty of free things to do, too. I’m here to help you navigate them, along with giving you insider tips on how to visit two of Seville’s key attractions without paying an entrance fee.
Wheelchair Accessible Note: If you’re a wheelchair user, don’t miss our guide on accessible things to do in Seville.
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Free things to do in Seville
Without further ado, below are fifteen free things to do in Seville. The first section is entirely free things to do in Seville, and the second section is free things to do on certain days of the week.
Make sure to allow a minimum of two full days in Seville for these free activities, although you can easily spread them out over three or more days.
1. Plaza de España
Plaza de España is one of the most popular attractions in Seville and it just so happens to be entirely free to visit.
Ceramic bridges, tiled maps of every province in Spain, pedal boats on the water, and second-story balconies looking over all of it will leave you mesmerized.
Aim to arrive at Plaza de España in the morning if you want to see it with fewer crowds. This is an ideal time to take photos.
Then, visit later in the day when the area is alive with vendors, musicians, and horses and buggies.
If you’re the literary type, consider bringing a book to donate to one of the ceramic shelves of the Spanish provinces.
When Plaza de España opened in the late 1920s, books about each province were placed on shelves for people to sit and read on the spot.
The tradition faded as people carried the books away, but the occasional person can be found keeping the tradition alive.
2. Santa Cruz District
If you only have time for two free things to do in Seville, make it Plaza de España and the Santa Cruz district.
Santa Cruz is located in the core of Seville’s historical center and includes both the Seville Cathedral and Alcázar. Hang tight, because we’ll talk about these two sites shortly.
For now, we’ll talk about the Jewish Quarter of Santa Cruz, which is what most people think of when they hear about the district.
My recommendation is to explore the Jewish Quarter without a map.
Tapas bars and boutique shops mix with local houses. Narrow streets lead from alley to alley with colorful, colonial buildings and balconies as a backdrop.
Go where you’re heart takes you; in many cases, that will likely be wanting to go in all directions at intersections!
3. Plaza Alfaro
When you’re exploring the Jewish Quarter, chances are you’ll stumble upon Plaza Alfaro (and if you don’t, you just might want to pull out your GPS for this one).
Like so many public areas in the quarter, Plaza Alfaro is tiny. However, the plaza is significant because it’s home to Rosina’s Balcony, which is where some say that Shakespeare got his inspiration for the Romeo and Juliet balcony scene.
Visiting Plaza Alfaro is a completely free thing to do in Seville. However, don’t expect to stand on the balcony unless you want to shell out some money to stay at the Suites Murillo Plaza de Santa Cruz.
4. Puerta del Perdón
Spoiler alert: It’s possible to visit the Seville Cathedral for free. I’ll show you how in the next section, but for now, know that if you don’t manage to get a free ticket, it’s 100% worth exploring the outside of the cathedral.
Puerta del Perdón is a gate located at the back of the cathedral and is the exit area for people visiting the inside the cathedral. However, the general public is allowed to go up to the gate.
From the gate, you can soak in beautiful views of the plaza filled with orange trees. The cathedral and Giralda bell tower make for the perfect backdrop.
In addition to Puerta del Perdón, I recommend walking around the full outside circumference of the Seville Cathedral.
Given crowds and the fact that the Seville Cathedral is the largest cathedral in the world, this activity takes longer than you’d expect!
5. Metropol Parasol
The Metropol Parasol is commonly referred to as “Las Setas”, which means “mushrooms” in Spanish. It won’t take you long to see how it got its nickname.
Many locals were furious when plans to build the Metropol Parasol were presented. It seemed absurd to build a sprawling, modern structure in the middle of Seville’s historical center. In writing these words, it still sounds crazy.
However, the reality is that the Metropol Parasol has become a beloved piece of architecture by locals and tourists alike since it opened in 2011.
While walking around the Metropol Parasol is one of the wonderful free things to do in Seville, it’s also possible to pay a small entrance fee and take an elevator to the top for views of the city.
6. River Boardwalk
Seville is located on the Guadalquivir River, which divides the main historical center from the Triana district (more on Triana next).
I’ll be totally up front with you- taking a walk along the Guadalquivir River in an average city would be a great activity. However, given that Seville offers so many incredible free things to do, the competition makes the river boardwalk feel more average than stunning.
Nonetheless, I recommend taking some time to explore the river boardwalk, if only to visit Torre del Oro (the Gold Tower).
Formerly a watchtower and prison, nowadays Torre del Oro is a museum and viewing area which is open to the public for a small fee.
Between this post being about free things to do in Seville and the fact that you can get better viewpoints from La Giralda, I recommend enjoying the views of Torre del Oro from the outside.
7. Triana District
The Triana district was formerly the area where the poor and outcasts lived outside of Seville’s walled city. As a result, it was and continues to be one of the best places to watch flamenco in Seville.
In order to get to Triana, cross Seville’s river boardwalk by foot either by the Isabel II Bridge (most popular) or the San Telmo Bridge. Regardless of where you’re coming from in the historical center, this is an easy walk.
If you can avoid the temptation of purchasing artisanal ice cream, tapas, and other goodies, visiting the Triana district is one of the best free things to do in Seville.
Make sure to stroll down San Jacinto Street and visit Santa Ana Church. The Triana Market is another must and is a great place to stock up on reasonably priced produce.
8. María Luisa Park
After you’ve finished drooling over Plaza de España, head across the street and explore María Luisa Park.
María Luisa Park doesn’t get the number of visitors that other sites in Seville does, so it’s a great way to escape from some of the larger tourist crowds.
The grounds of María Luisa Park are entirely free to explore.
Make sure to take the short climb up Monte Gurugu where you can get some nice, low-lying views over the park. There are also plenty of benches, pavilions, small ponds, and plaques describing the many species of foliage.
9. Archivo General de Indias
The Archivo General de Indias (Archive of the Indies) is a paradise for history buffs looking for free things to do in Seville.
Located in an impressive building between the Seville Cathedral and Alcázar, Archivo General de Indias houses documents about the history of the Spanish Empire.
The ground floor of the building has a rotating display of posters specializing in a particular historical theme. The posters are in English and Spanish. There’s also a second story floor where books and important documents are kept.
10. Patio Hop
Seville is full of former palaces and old homes that have stunning patio entranceways. Therefore, a fantastic free thing to do in Seville is to get lost wandering around the historical center, looking through the gated patios.
As a big disclaimer, make sure you’re being respectful when peeking in on patios, as they’re private property. Always do your peeping from the sidewalk and don’t linger or take photos if there’s someone in the patio.
Some of the best patios I’ve seen are in the historical center on sidestreets branching out from the main tourist veins. The deeper into the residential areas you go, the more patios you’ll likely stumble upon.
11. El Jueves Flea Market
If you’re a market lover, you’ve surely already put the Triana Market on your list. So, here’s another market experience for you- Mercadillo Historico del Jueves.
El Jueves, meaning “Thursday” in English, is a huge flea market held every Thursday. It’s located in the northernmost edge of Seville’s historical area, in the Feria district.
You can find everything antique your heart desires at this market including lamps, books, clothing, and paintings, to name a few.
Of course, El Jueves is only one of the free things to do in Seville on this list, if you don’t purchase anything. But if you’re tempted to take a Sevillian antique home with you, it’s likely you can barter a good deal.
El Jueves is an outdoor, informal kind of market. You can expect the most amount of vendors and antique goers between the hours of 8:00am – 2:00pm.
12. Alfonso XIII Hotel
If it seems odd to you that a hotel is in an article about the best free things to do in Seville, you’re right.
Whatsmore, this isn’t just any hotel, but the most expensive hotel in Seville!
However, you don’t need to stay at Alfonso XIII Hotel in order to appreciate its architecture and marvel at the people who have stayed there. Think Madonna, Barack Obama, and the cast from the Game of Thrones.
Located by the Alcázar, this is an easy, quick stop that you can make during your Seville explorations. If you’d like to linger, though, you have the option to sit in the hotel’s cafe and sip on a (very expensive) cup of joe.
Everyone’s got their opinion on bullfighting. Regardless of what yours is, it’s undeniable that bullfighting is a notable part of Spain’s past and an increasingly less notable part of modern-day Spanish culture.
The Seville bullring is located near the river and is an interesting piece of Sevillian architecture, especially if you haven’t seen a bullring elsewhere in Spain.
The plaza around the outside of the bullring is free to explore. You can also enter the main foyer where there’s a gift shop and the opportunity to get a small taste of the inside of the bullring.
Here, you can also purchase a ticket to enter the bullring. Given that I was researching this article on free things to do in Seville and not wanting to support bullfighting, I can’t comment on the experience of touring the bullring.
Free things to do in Seville on Certain days of the week
Now that we’ve covered the completely free things to do in Seville on any day, two of Seville’s most popular sites are free at certain hours, on certain days of the week.
In both cases, you’ll need to plan your trip far in advance in order to have a chance at securing free tickets.
14. Real Alcázar
With its impressive, castle-like walls in the heart of Seville’s historical center, it’s impossible not to be in awe of the Alcázar. While the traditional way to visit the Alcázar is by paying a double-digit entrance fee, there is a workaround for those looking for free things to do in Seville.
The last hour at the Real Alcázar is free on Mondays. To get this truly free ticket, you need to wait in line at the Alcázar.
However, since there are only a set number of free tickets available, to avoid the likely possibility of them being taken, consider purchasing a free ticket online.
I know it sounds odd. However, for a one Euro fee, you can secure a “free” entrance ticket to the Alcázar.
I recommend working your way around the Alcázar from right to left. Spend about half of your time exploring the palaces and half your time walking around the gardens.
Your visit will feel incredibly fast-paced if you want to visit all the main sites at the Alcázar in one hour with your free ticket, but for those with good stamina, it’s possible.
15. Seville Cathedral & Giralda
Here’s a major caveat- if you want free entrance tickets to both the Alcázar and Seville Cathedral, you’ll need to make sure you’re in Seville for two Mondays.
The free entrance tickets to the Seville Cathedral, which includes entry to the Giralda bell tower, are only available on Mondays from 4:30pm to 6:00pm.
You should register for a ticket online in advance, otherwise, you can assume that they’ll be gone by the time you arrive in person. Even then, online tickets are limited so you should check frequently for availability.
Is it worth it to fight for those free tickets?
Once inside the cathedral, I recommend making a beeline for the entrance to the Giralda bell tower. An approximately 10-minute walk up the tower will offer you some of the best views in all of Seville.
After you’ve soaked in the views, make your way back down to the cathedral and spend the rest of your time exploring it.
Make sure to visit Christopher Columbus’ tomb. Since a few grams of his remains lay there, locals joke that Seville has one of Columbus’ fingers, among other body parts!
Semi-free things to in Seville
Even though this article is about free things to do in Seville, there are some honorable mention semi-free things to do, too. Let’s take a look at them.
Free Walking Tour
Although not fully a free thing to do in Seville, joining a free walking tour is a great way to get a feel for the city.
I took a free walking tour with White Umbrella Tours. They run their free city tours twice per day, at 10:30am and 4:00pm, and the tour lasted around 2.5 hours.
Just remember, if you take a free walking tour, regardless of the agency you go with, tipping is expected and something that you should absolutely do in exchange for your guide’s time.
Spain is known for its free tapas. While this tradition is no longer as strong in Seville, there’s still a chance that you may get a free snack with the purchase of a drink.
You don’t need to go overboard with your drink purchasing to get a free tapa- one drink will do.
For tapa bars that serve free tapas, you can expect them to be along the lines of a bowl of olives, almonds, or pickles.
For a detailed list of recommended tapas bars in Seville, head over to my post on the best tapas in Seville.
Psst…Make sure to also check out our guide on the best churros in Seville.
Bonus: Best Time to Visit Seville
Now that we’ve covered the top free things to do in Seville, I want to leave you with one extra bonus- the best time to visit Seville.
I’ll go out on a limb here and say that you may have never felt “hot” unless you’ve visited Seville during the summer. It’s scorching, even for summer-loving me.
Therefore, I recommend visiting Seville in the spring or fall to enjoy more moderate temperatures. Since the historical center of Seville is compact, you’ll likely find yourself choosing to walk places over taking a car.
Conclusion: Best free things to do in Seville
With its beautiful plazas, architecture, and friendly people, it’s easy to fall in love with Seville and find plenty of free things to do to fill your time.
If you’ve been to Seville, leave a comment about your favorite free things to do there. Similarly, if you have questions about traveling to Seville, leave a comment and I’ll be happy to help.
P.S.- Looking to explore outside of Seville? Check out our guide on taking a Seville to Ronda day trip.
Laura’s love for traveling started with a trip to Jamaica. Since then, she’s spent over five years living in Latin America and four years wandering the globe. She’s an early bird and backpacker at heart and can often be spotted with a dog or ten that she’s befriended along the way. Much of the content Laura writes on A Piece of Travel includes details on wheelchair accessibility, with the support of her brother-in-law and sister. You can learn about their accessibility endeavors here.